How has starring in Pitch Perfect 2, about a collegiate a cappella group, influenced your approach to music?
Learning a cappella has changed my outlook on pop music because you see how much goes into it. I was able to appreciate what a well-produced song is after having to do everything as one person–using your one voice for different instruments to make a sound complete. It really opened my eyes to what goes into making a song from the ground up.
Many fans think the lyrics to your song “Love Myself” are about masturbation. What was your first reaction when you heard the track?
I fell in love with the sound and the message, and the beauty in the song is knowing that there is a double meaning–or however many ways people interpret it. For me, it’s about taking care of and indulging yourself. It’s a message that is very easy to forget and nice to be reminded of.
You’re part of Taylor Swift’s “squad” of famous friends. What’s one thing we wouldn’t guess from seeing you together on Instagram?
The moments where it’s a constant love fest and freak-out between all of us. When I had the honor of going out at MetLife Stadium with Taylor and some of the girls who were in the [“Bad Blood”] video with us, there was a moment when we were all looking at each other like, “We’ve got to take this all in! This is insane!”
This appears in the November 23, 2015 issue of TIME.
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